Miami Heat (20-18) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (21-18, 11-9 home)
View from the enemy: Hot Hot Hoops
Home games get more and more valuable as we go. The Heat are a good team. But these are the home wins the Thunder need to start putting away. If you can beat them on the road, you should be able to beat them at home, right? No, don’t bring up the Spurs game.
Miami coming in: This is the second of a back-to-back for the Heat who just played in Houston last night. So we’ll have a game with two teams running on heavy legs. Miami is 4-6 in their last 10 games.
Up and down, it’s favorable for OKC. Yes, that includes Dwyane Wade who Thabo absolutely tortured in the last meeting. Wade is going to score and will get to the line a ton, but as long as he doesn’t score efficiently, it’ll be in favor of the Thunder.
Quentin Richardson can’t defend Kevin Durant. Dorell Wright is the best option because of his length, but still, KD should have his way. Michael Beasley is playing well, but he’s the type of guy Jeff Green matches up well against. Jermaine O’Neal has been better and he’ll affect the game inside, but OKC’s corral of big men should be able to balance.
The main thing that scares me is Daquan Cook shooting from outside. The Thunder have a tendency to collapse on penetration, so Cook will get some looks. He nearly shot the Heat back into the game last time so he’ll be a player to watch.
Mario Chalmers is a nice defender, but now that Rafer Alston is starting and getting most the minutes, I like Russell Westbrook’s matchup. He should be able to get in the lane at will.
The Thunder need this one. The teams around them are winning and if you give away home games, you’re going to regret it. This team has played a lot of good teams at home and taken care of business against the mediocre to bad ones. The Heat are pretty good so it won’t be easy. But they aren’t a great road team.
Tip at 7:00. Go Protect This House.